Just a Spoon Full of Sugar? Gamification and Education

Jane:                      "It is a game, isn't it, Mary Poppins?"

Mary Poppins:          "Well, it depends on your point of view. You see,

In every job that must be done,

There is an element of fun.

You find the fun, and snap!

The job's a game.

And every task you undertake

Becomes a piece of cake

A lark, a spree it's very clear to see

That a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down

The medicine go down

Medicine go down ..."


In the musical film "Mary Poppins" (1964) the nanny introduces the two kids – Jane and Michael Banks– to a technique how to transform a dreadful job into a joyful game. As she explains in her song "snap!", medicine tastes so much better with tons of sugar. One could argue, that this is what serious games and gamification are all about – designing a spoonful of sugar and adding it to the "serious" content.

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